The large number of corruption cases involving road projects can be attributed to the government's joint role of player and referee in the construction sector, according to Xinhua. 'Construction of basic transport infrastructure often involves billions of yuan in investment and it is well-known that bribery is rampant in the construction industry,' an industry expert was quoted as saying in a commentary by the news agency. 'It is not out of the question for government officials with the power over these projects to rake in several millions, or tens of millions of yuan,' the expert said. Referring to the construction sector as a 'disaster area', the commentary pointed out 17 former heads of provincial and municipal communications departments had been jailed for corruption over the past eight years. Xinhua said under the current system, officials in charge of communications departments were acting as the government, investors, developers and end users of the projects. 'This inevitably leads to the problem of money being spent with no supervision,' it said. Ju Jinwen , of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said road construction was basically a monopoly managed by officials.